Volume 56 Number 4, June 2005
Mulk Raj Anand: Shaping the Indian Modern
|Specifications:||124 pages, 120 illustrations|
|Dimensions:||305 x 241 mm|
Mulk Raj Anand was one of the great Indian modernists who shaped the cultural landscape of India for over three decades since Independence. In 1946 along with a group of friends he founded MARG which continues to this day as India’s oldest publication devoted to the visual and performing arts. Marg seeks to honour Dr Anand’s stellar contribution to the arts and architecture as well as aesthetic and heritage issues of our country. This volume examines his role as an intellectual who argued for a modern and humanist Indian nation.
Annapurna Garimella is the Research Editor of Marg Publications and the head of Art, Resources and Teaching (A.R.T.) in Bangalore. Her work has focused on temple urbanism, Rajput painting and gender, and urban popular religious art.
Photo Essay: Mulk, Associates, and Friends
Mulk and Marg
Mulk and Modern Indian Architecture
Mulk at 100
Museums and Monuments
On Inheriting the Past
My Journey with Mulk
Portraits of Mulk Raj Anand over the decades and pictures of him with associates and friends.
Mulk Raj Anand shaped a concept for Indian modernity through the pages of Marg, a journal of the arts, which he founded in 1946. The present book was conceived to celebrate Dr Anand’s 100th birthday in 2005, but he passed away a year before. The volume offers tributes and critical assessments of Mulk Raj Anand and Marg, and excerpts from his writings. Conceptually it focuses on key aspects of MRA’s work at Marg and other fora where he made interventions in the visual and built arts.
The writer bridges the personal and the critical reception of Mulk Raj Anand’s work with a broad overview of his intellectual formation. She locates him within various visuals of modernity in the context of liberal humanism and revolutionary socialism which were often pitched against colonialism and fascism. In various sections Kapur pays attention to Mulk’s position in early 20th-century movements within European philosophy and literature, and his involvement with Indian modern art.
Parimoo did his doctoral research on the Tagore brothers under Dr Anand. He also discusses MRA’s involvement with Baroda artists and touches upon his engagement with Ananda Coomaraswamy in the context of the urge to develop a further theory of Indian aesthetics.
Insights into how Mulk and Marg shaped the trajectories of one of India’s most respected contemporary artists, shaping his artistic sensibilities. Because of MRA’s commitment to the Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group, Marg regularly featured the works of members and this inspired Sheikh in his more radical artistic endeavours.
An analysis of Mulk Raj Anand's legacy and vision for a contemporary architecture in India. In choosing the acronym MARG (Modern Architectural Research Group) for the book-magazine he founded in 1946, Anand was expressing concern for the built environment and its future in a country on the threshold of Independence. In his writings, he envisioned a developing world that retained a nearness to the elements but he also acknowledged the stronger pull of the new world. He was closely associated with the creation of the two largest urban projects of Independent India, Chandigarh and New Bombay. Dalvi situates Anand in the various debates over revivalism and modernism that were taking place in the 1950s and '60s.
Bombay’s renowned architect paints a vivid picture of Anand’s and Marg’s importance in facilitating artistic and social exchanges among intellectuals, practitioners and others in the India of the 1950s and ’60s. He discusses the collaborations that he and his colleagues had with Marg in proposing the New Bombay plan, and Anand’s Chandigarh initiatives. The essay celebrates Anand’s openness to change and his optimism about the future which fuelled his constant engagement with the visual and built arts.
Anand’s active participation in various regional and national museums as well as his writings in Marg, was crucial to the forming of a post-Independence discourse on museology, making it more democratic and sensitive to the requirements of India’s diverse constituencies. He advocated the creation of many museums, attentive to local populations, where art could be appreciated as much for its visual beauty and for its historical and religious significance. He endorsed private museums as well.
From its founding, Marg was concerned with the study and assessment of modern India’s artistic heritage, often linking this history of those of other emergent Asian nations. The writer traces his engagement with heritage in the context of the linguistic division of states, the Non-Aligned Movement, the transition from a Nehruvian planned economy to economic liberalization. The essay marks Anand’s movement from elite Modernist positions which did not allow him to engage productively for many years with popular culture and its histories (at least in his writings), to a time when he developed stances that addressed the economic and social transformations that were being made in the name of development.
A personal document by Dolly Sahiar who died a few months before MRA in 2004. Together they formed a legendary team from the time she joined Marg as a young designer, their association continuing over the decades as they undertook field research into India’s art history.